fetchmail security announcement fetchmail-SA-2005-01
From: Matthias Andree (ma+nomail_at_dt.e-technik.uni-dortmund.de)
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 17:44:08 +0200 To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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fetchmail-SA-2005-01: security announcement
Topic: remote code injection vulnerability in fetchmail
Author: Matthias Andree
Type: buffer overrun/stack corruption/code injection
Impact: account or system compromise possible through malicious
or compromised POP3 servers
Danger: high: in sensitive configurations, a full system
compromise is possible
(for 220.127.116.11: denial of service for the whole fetchmail
system is possible)
CVE Name: CAN-2005-2335
Thanks: Edward J. Shornock (located the bug in UIDL code)
Miloslav Trmac (pointed out 18.104.22.168 was faulty)
Ludwig Nussel (provided minimal correct fix)
Affects: fetchmail version 22.214.171.124 (denial of service)
fetchmail version 6.2.5 (code injection)
fetchmail version 6.2.0 (code injection)
(other versions have not been checked)
Not affected: fetchmail 126.96.36.199
fetchmail 6.3.0 (not released yet)
Older versions may not have THIS bug, but had been found
to contain other security-relevant bugs.
Corrected: 2005-07-22 01:37 UTC (SVN) - committed bugfix (r4157)
2005-07-22 fetchmail-patch-188.8.131.52 released
2005-07-23 fetchmail-184.108.40.206 tarball released
0. Release history
2005-07-20 1.00 - Initial announcement
2005-07-22 1.01 - Withdrew 220.127.116.11 and 6.2.6-pre5, the fix was buggy
and susceptible to denial of service through
single-byte read from 0 when either a Message-ID:
header was empty (in violation of RFC-822/2822)
or the UIDL response did not contain an UID (in
violation of RFC-1939).
- Add Credits.
- Add 18.104.22.168 failure details to sections 2 and 3
- Revise section 5 and B.
2005-07-26 1.02 - Revise section 0.
- Add FreeBSD VuXML URL for 22.214.171.124.
- Add heise security URL.
- Mention release of 126.96.36.199 tarball.
fetchmail is a software package to retrieve mail from remote POP2, POP3,
IMAP, ETRN or ODMR servers and forward it to local SMTP, LMTP servers or
message delivery agents.
2. Problem description
The POP3 code in fetchmail-6.2.5 and older that deals with UIDs (from
the UIDL) reads the responses returned by the POP3 server into
fixed-size buffers allocated on the stack, without limiting the input
length to the buffer size. A compromised or malicious POP3 server can
thus overrun fetchmail's stack. This affects POP3 and all of its
variants, for instance but not limited to APOP.
In fetchmail-188.8.131.52, the attempted fix prevented code injection via
POP3 UIDL, but introduced two possible NULL dereferences that can be
exploited to mount a denial of service attack.
In fetchmail-6.2.5 and older, very long UIDs can cause fetchmail to
crash, or potentially make it execute code placed on the stack. In some
configurations, fetchmail is run by the root user to download mail for
In fetchmail-184.108.40.206, a server that responds with UID lines containing
only the article number but no UID (in violation of RFC-1939), or a
message without Message-ID when no UIDL support is available, can crash
No reasonable workaround can be offered at this time.
Upgrade your fetchmail package to version 220.127.116.11.
You can either download a complete tarball of fetchmail-18.104.22.168.tar.gz,
or you can download a patch against fetchmail-6.2.5 if you already have
the 6.2.5 tarball. Either is available from:
To use the patch:
1. download fetchmail-6.2.5.tar.gz (or retrieve the version you already
had downloaded) and fetchmail-patch-22.214.171.124.tar.gz
2. unpack the tarball: gunzip -c fetchmail-6.2.5.tar.gz | tar xf -
3. unpack the patch: gunzip fetchmail-patch-126.96.36.199.gz
4. apply the patch: cd fetchmail-6.2.5 ; patch -p1 <../fetchmail-patch-188.8.131.52
5. now configure and build as usual - detailed instructions in the file
fetchmail home page: <http://fetchmail.berlios.de/>
B. Copyright, License and Warranty
(C) Copyright 2005 by Matthias Andree, <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Some rights reserved.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs German License. To view a copy of
this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/de/
or send a letter to Creative Commons; 559 Nathan Abbott Way;
Stanford, California 94305; USA.
THIS WORK IS PROVIDED FREE OF CHARGE AND WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES.
Use the information herein at your own risk.
END OF fetchmail-SA-2005-01.txt
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